AUDIENCE AWARD - Woodstock Film Festival 2021 | HONORABLE MENTION FOR AUTHENTICITY - Philadelphia Film Festival 2021 | Featured on Good Morning America | HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Educational Media Reviews OnlineRecovery • Generational Trauma • Mental Illness • Opioid Epidemic • Drug Abuse • Family Trauma • Substance Abuse
Date of Completion: 2021 | Run Time: 87 minutes | Language: English with Latin American Spanish subtitles | Captions: Yes | Includes: Study Guide | Directors: Hallee Alderman & Sean King O'Grady | Producers: Hallee Alderman & Sean King O'Grady
Captured at a pivotal “nothing to lose” moment, OUR AMERICAN FAMILY follows five close-knit family members as they fight to transcend their crippling histories with generational addiction and pull each other from the deepest depths of drug addiction. This film explores the ways in which addiction is an all-encompassing force, not only for those afflicted, but also for those around them. A moving, hopeful and realistic portrait of a family in recovery.
Educational Media Reviews Online | Reviewed by Kay Hogan Smith, Retired - University of Alabama at Birmingham, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED "Our American Family is a painful, frank and ultimately hopeful look at a family dealing with an all-too-common issue."
New York Times
“Addiction is a complex, challenging topic, and Our American Family, in its sharp specificity, handles it with grace.”
"Our American Family beautifully reveals how the process of recovery, for an individual and a family, happens by growing self-awareness, self-assertion, and self-determination."
“It's one story that provides a mere snapshot of a larger problem in the U.S. — but it's a very detailed picture, and one that humanizes the people behind the addictions."
“Our American Family is one of the most blunt and intimate documentaries you’re ever likely to see.”
Breezeway Productions | Alex Helisek
"Our American Family
Quelle Movies | Raquel Stetcher
Selig Film News | Gadi Elkon
Guy At The Movies | Joe Peltzer
Following Films | Christopher Maynard
"OUR AMERICAN FAMILY
The Philadelphia Citizen | CORIE
Jumpcut Online | Mary Palmer
Audience Award | Woodstock Film Festival 2021
Honorable Mention for Authenticity | Philadelphia Film Festival 2021
Featured Segment on Good Morning America
REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH FILMMAKERS HALLEE ADELMAN AND SEAN KING O'GRADY
Directors for Our American Family
Hallee Adelman is a writer, filmmaker, and co-founder of World of HA Productions. After a long-standing relationship with the film family, Adelman directed and produced Our American Family with Sean King O’Grady. The title has received the award for Best Documentary Feature at the Woodstock Film Festival and has been reviewed in the New York Times, Psychology Today, and the LA Times. Adelman served as executive producer on both the Emmy-winning documentary The Social Dilemma and the Oscar-nominated international title, Writing with Fire. Other films include The Truffle Hunters, Us Kids, and Art & Krimes by Krimes. When not working on films, Adelman authors the Great Big Feelings Series of children’s books with titles including Way Past Mad and Way Past Worried. Adelman believes in the power of story to spark important conversations and to better the lives of children and families. She lives outside Philadelphia with her family.
Sean King O’Grady is a filmmaker based in Michigan. His award-winning feature films have screened at Sundance, Tribeca, Telluride, Berlin, Sitges, SXSW, Woodstock, Venice, TIFF, and dozens of other festivals around the world. His most recent documentary, OUR AMERICAN FAMILY, co-directed with Hallee Adelman, was released theatrically in 2022. Sean's narrative directorial debut WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING was released in theaters in 2021 by IFC Midnight and is now streaming on Hulu. As a producer, Sean's recently released projects include Steve Buscemi's THE LISTENER, James Morosini's I LOVE MY DAD, and Adam Carter Rehmeier's DINNER IN AMERICA. Previous projects include LAND GRAB, FOR LOVERS ONLY, IN A WORLD..., BIG SUR, and MTV: True Life.
REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH FAMILY MEMBERS
Family featured in Our American Family
Linda is the mother featured in Our American Family. Having had a parent who struggled with Anorexia Nervosa, she learned at an early age how to minimize addictive behaviors. With an ex-husband and children who have attended multiple treatment centers over a span of many years, she shares lessons learned with other parents and families. As the founder of Hummingbird Yoga and Massage, Linda teaches individuals and other instructors, trauma and recovery informed mind/body practices. She is passionate about sharing her experiences through writing and film, helping those affected by addiction, continuing to “show up” and work hard alongside her family members.
Bryan is the stepfather in Our American Family. Bryan married his soulmate who had three children from a previous marriage. One year later, Bryan realized that his wife’s oldest child was struggling with a substance use disorder. He shifted from saving money for vacations to finding ways to pay for rehabs and therapists. Initially resentful of his struggling family members, Bryan spent the next 15 years learning about addiction in efforts to support his wife and their children. He and his wife Linda not only support their children, but also help raise their granddaughter—who is the number one person in Bryan’s life. Bryan is a landscaper for his family business who also finds peace working with the lathe.
Nicole Caltabiano is the oldest child featured in Our American Family. At one time, she was considered a “chronic relapser” with a heroin addiction. She attended over 15 treatment centers before achieving long-term sobriety. Today, Nicole has earned over five years of sobriety and works to help others as a certified recovery specialist. She has helped over 1000 people gain access to treatment. Her goal is to let other women and mothers know that no matter how low they are, they can “get there” and live a better life. She continues to work on herself and makes a decision every day to not use or get high.
Christopher Jr. is the oldest brother featured in Our American Family. Despite the fact that his father and sister struggled with substance use disorders, Christopher was prescribed opioids for pain after a surgery as a teenager. Christopher quickly became addicted to the opioids himself, which eventually led him to learn “Heroin 101” from his sister. Christopher spent years in and out of treatment centers. Today he is over one year sober. Christopher credits the fellowship of AA, meditation, exercise, and close bonds with his family and friends for his continued success. Part of Chris’s recovery journey is giving back. He is humbled by the power of sharing his story with others that walk a similar path.
Stephen is the youngest brother featured in Our American Family. As a child, due to the substance abuse in his family, Stephen often put his own feelings and needs aside, and was identified as the “lost child” – his accomplishments were often overshadowed by the urgent needs of his struggling siblings. Stephen joined Alateen and Al-Anon groups and sought independent counseling to work through the pressures of living with addiction in the home. He talks about letting go of resentments, finding gratitude, and honoring oneself. Stephen now holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and works to help other families and siblings touched by addiction.